For the royalists who have spent weeks camped outside the Lindo Wing in Union Jack tents the timing could not be more perfect. As the sun rose over London on St George’s Day, it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge had gone into labour with her third child.
And as the world’s press gathered outside St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington to wait for the first glimpse of the fifth-in-line to the throne, the Royal Family’s biggest fans enjoyed their time in the spotlight.
Draped in flags and carrying robotic baby dolls, ‘Union Jack Man’ Terry Hutt and his cheery gang of campers spoke of their excitement of the impending arrival.
“It’s lovely that the baby is going to be born on St George’s Day,” said 82-year-old Terry, who has spent 15 nights sleeping outside the hospital in the run up to the birth.
“It would have been better if it was born on my birthday, but I’m always excited at these events.”
“Some of the nights we have spent waiting for this have been bitter,” added 58-year-old Sky London, who has been bedding down alongside Terry since the start of April.
“But it’s so worth it. When the royals have a baby, that’s special. When any woman has a baby it’s special, but they are the monarchy.
“These children are our future - this is history taking care of itself.”
And, by all accounts, there’s going to be a right royal celebration to welcome the baby’s arrival.
“We’re going to have our flags out and we are going to celebrate with fish and chips later - proper British food for the occasion,” said 63-year-old John Loughrey, adding that a glass or two of champagne might also be used to toast the baby’s head.
“The whole world will be celebrating.”
Celebrations got off to a false start this morning when an unsuspecting couple emerged from the Lindo Wing with their newborn baby, only to be greeted by the world’s media.
They posed for photographs outside the famous door in front of dozens of journalists and photographers before leaving in a taxi.
But while the mood outside the hospital might be jolly, there’s division in the group’s ranks over whether Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be treated to a little brother or sister.
“I feel it’s a boy,” argued Sharon McEwan, who has been a fan of the Queen since she was a little girl in Jamaica. “I had four boys, so I know the shape of a boy.”
Sky - who had rewritten a Morecambe & Wise classic for the occasion - was not so convinced. “It’s a girl,” he said. “It’s how Kate is placed. When she had Charlotte, she was more round and she’s more round now.
“I hope they will call her Diana,” he added. “If it was a boy, maybe they would choose Albert, or Charles as a middle name.
“I don’t think they will have any more children though. I think three is the magic number.”
But for the dedicated royalists who plan their lives around the movements of the Queen and her descendants, the birth of the latest royal baby is just the start of a summer of royal events.
“We will be going down to Windsor for the royal wedding on May 13,” added John, who plans to set up camp six days before Harry and Meghan’s nuptials.
“I have a cardboard cutout of Harry and Meghan, a printed T-shirt and enough bunting to cover the whole of Windsor.”